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From Interoperability to Harmonization in Metadata Standardization : Designing an Evolvable Framework for Metadata Harmonization
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Metadata is an increasingly central tool in the current web environment, enabling large-scale, distributed management of resources. Recent years has seen a growth in interaction between previously relatively isolated metadata communities, driven by a need for cross-domain collaboration and exchange. However, metadata standards have not been able to meet the needs of interoperability between independent standardization communities. For this reason the notion of metadata harmonization, defined as interoperability of combinations of metadata specifications, has risen as a core issue for the future of web-based metadata.

This thesis presents a solution-oriented analysis of current issues in metadata harmonization. A set of widely used metadata specifications in the domains of learning technology, libraries and the general web environment have been chosen as targets for the analysis, with a special focus on Dublin Core, IEEE LOM and RDF. Through active participation in several metadata standardization communities, a body of knowledge of harmonization issues has been developed.

The thesis presents an analytical framework of concepts and principles for understanding the issues arising when interfacing multiple standardization communities. The analytical framework focuses on a set of important patterns in metadata specifications and their respective contribution to harmonization issues:

  • Metadata syntaxes as a tool for metadata exchange. Syntaxes are shown to be of secondary importance in harmonization.

  • Metadata semantics as a cornerstone for interoperability. This thesis argues that the incongruences in the interpretation of metadata descriptions play a significant role in harmonization.

  • Abstract models for metadata as a tool for designing metadata standards. It is shown how such models are pivotal in the understanding of harmonization problems.

  • Vocabularies as carriers of meaning in metadata. The thesis shows how portable vocabularies can carry semantics from one standard to another, enabling harmonization.

  • Application profiles as a method for combining metadata standards. While application profiles have been put forward as a powerful tool for interoperability, the thesis concludes that they have only a marginal role to play in harmonization.

The analytical framework is used to analyze and compare seven metadata specifications, and a concrete set of harmonization issues is presented. These issues are used as a basis for a metadata harmonization framework where a multitude of metadata specifications with different characteristics can coexist. The thesis concludes that the Resource Description Framework (RDF) is the only existing specification that has the right characteristics to serve as a practical basis for such a harmonization framework, and therefore must be taken into account when designing metadata specifications. Based on the harmonization framework, a best practice for metadata standardization development is developed, and a roadmap for harmonization improvements of the analyzed standards is presented.

Place, publisher, year, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. x, 125 p.
Series
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2010:15
Keyword [en]
metadata, dublin core, IEEE LOM, RDF, semantic web, interoperability, standardization
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26057 (URN)978-91-7415-800-7 (ISBN)oai:DiVA.org:kth-26057 (OAI)diva2:369527 (DiVA)
Public defence
2010-12-15, Sal F3, Lindstedsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101117Available from2010-11-17 Created:2010-11-10 Last updated:2010-11-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Semantic Web Meta-data for e-Learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Semantic Web Meta-data for e-Learning : Some Architectural Guidelines
2002 (English)In: Proceedings of the 11th World Wide Web Conference (WWW2002), Hawaii, USA, 2002, 2002Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Meta-data is the fundamental building block of the Semantic Web. However, the meta-data concept is too loosely defined to provide architectural guidelines for its use. This paper analyzes important uses of meta-data in the e-learning domain, from a pedagogical and philosophical point of view, and abstracts from them a set of fundamental architectural requirements for Semantic Web meta-data. It also describes some flexible generic techniques for working with meta-data, following these requirements. Finally, the paper describes a Semantic Web-based e-learning architecture based in these requirements and techniques currently under development at the Knowledge Management Research Group at CID (Centre for user oriented IT Design) at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. This architecture builds on Edutella, a peer-to-peer meta-data exchange network, and a technique called conceptual modeling using the Conzilla concept browser, a new kind of knowledge management tool for conceptual navigation and exploration. The architecture provides an inquiry-based e-learning system that fits into the Semantic Web philosophy, and is based on a pedagogical framework called the knowledge manifold.

Keyword
metadata
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25681 (URN)
Conference
11th World Wide Web Conference (WWW2002)
Note
QC 20101028Available from2010-10-28 Created:2010-10-27 Last updated:2010-11-17Bibliographically approved
2. The LOM RDF Binding
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The LOM RDF Binding : principles and Implementation
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of the Third Annual ARIADNE conference, Leuven Belgium, 2003, 2003Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper will discuss some of the advantages andcomplexities in using the Resource Description Framework, RDF, toexpress learning object metadata following the IEEE LOM standard. Wewill describe some details of the current draft for a complete RDF bindingfor LOM and discuss some of the constructs used in that binding.We will then present a so-called SHAME Query Model of this bindingthat can be used to specify and visualize application profileconstraints when using this binding. A metadata editor for RDF-basedLOM metadata, which was built with the help of this Query model, willbe briefly introduced.

Keyword
metadata
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25685 (URN)
Conference
Third Annual ARIADNE conference, Leuven Belgium, 2003
Note
QC 20101028Available from2010-10-28 Created:2010-10-27 Last updated:2010-11-17Bibliographically approved
3. The Edutella P2P Network
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Edutella P2P Network : supporting Democratic E-learning and Communities of Practice
2004 (English)In: Online education using learning objects / [ed] Rory McGreal, New York: Falmer Press, 2004Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The infrastructures we use for developing, finding and combining learning objectsinfluence the usage of the material - inflexible frameworks will not support flexiblelearning. For this reason, it is essential to consider the pedagogical consequences of thedesign of the technical frameworks that are used in e-learning systems. Much of thecurrent work in e-learning technology targets learning objects stored in LMS (LearningManagement System) applications and/or in other centralized servers, often of verylarge scale. Even though standards such as IEEE LOM increase the interoperability ofsuch systems, they are still mostly information islands. Cross-searching of repositoriesis not a reality. It has even been said that the Web is still in the "hunter-gatherer phase"with respect to searching. This is certainly true for learning objects. We have not yetreached the goal of a global e-learning society. In addition, many institutions arereluctant to give up control over their learning resources. This is problematic for manycentral-server based methods of learning resource sharing, (e. g., e-learning "portals".)Such portals are costly and difficult to maintain.Edutella takes a different approach. It is one piece in an e-learning infrastructure with adecentralized vision. By encouraging sharing among small-scale content repositories,anyone can participate in the exchange and annotation of e-learning resources. Byallowing anyone to participate, the learner is given more control over their learningprocess, leading us one step closer to the dream of a learner-centric educationalarchitecture.Edutella is a peer-to-peer (P2P) network for exchanging information about learningobjects (and not for exchanging content). It is built with semantic web technologyapplying the latest P2P research. This chapter will discuss the technologies that makeEdutella possible, explaining the vision and importance of the project, and howapplications can use it.The Edutella project is being developed by a number of institutions - among others: theLearning Lab Lower Saxony, the KMR Group at KTH, the Uppsala DatabaseLaboratory, Stanford Infolab, AIFB at University of Karlsruhe, and the UNIVERSALproject - and it is still expanding. The latest developments can be found athttp://edutella.jxta.org.

Publisher, range
New York: Falmer Press, 2004
Keyword
metadata, P2P, RDF
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25686 (URN)0415335124 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20101028Available from2010-10-28 Created:2010-10-27 Last updated:2010-11-17Bibliographically approved
4. Towards an Interoperability Framework for Metadata Standards
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards an Interoperability Framework for Metadata Standards
2006 (English)In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico 3 - 6 October 2006, 2006Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a conceptual metadata framework for Dublin Core metadata, intended to support the development of interoperable metadata standards and applications. The model rests on the fundamental concept of an “abstract model” for metadata, as exemplified by the DCMI Abstract Model, and is based on concepts and ideas that have developed over the years within the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. The model thus incorporates the concepts of metadata vocabularies, schemas, formats and application profiles into a single framework that can be used to analyse and compare metadata standards, and aid in the process of harmonization of metadata standards. The model is used to briefly compare the structures of the Dublin Core metadata specifications and the IEEE LOM standard. Some fundamental differences between the two standards are discussed briefly, and important gaps in the current set of Dublin Core metadata specifications are noted.

Series
Proceedings of the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, ISSN 19391358
Keyword
Dublin Core, Metadata
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25687 (URN)2-s2.0-84871295234 (ScopusID)
Conference
International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico, 3 - 6 October 2006
Note
<p>QC 20141104</p>Available from2010-10-28 Created:2010-10-27 Last updated:2014-11-04Bibliographically approved
5. Formalizing Dublin Core Application Profiles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Formalizing Dublin Core Application Profiles : description Set Profiles and Graph Constraints
2007 (English)In: Metadata and Semantics, Post-proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Metadata and Semantics Research, MTSR 2007, Corfu Island in Greece, 1-2 October 2007. Springer 2009, 2007Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes a proposed formalization of the notion of Application Profiles as used in the Dublin Core community. The formalization, called Description Set Profiles, defines syntactical constraints on metadata records conforming to the DCMI Abstract Model using an XML syntax. The mapping of this formalism to syntax-specific constraint languages such as XML Schema is discussed.

Keyword
metadata, Dublin Core, application profiles
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25688 (URN)10.1007/978-0-387-77745-0_10 (DOI)
Conference
2nd International Conference on Metadata and Semantics Research, MTSR 2007, Corfu Island in Greece, 1-2 October 2007
Note
QC 20101028Available from2010-10-28 Created:2010-10-27 Last updated:2010-11-17Bibliographically approved
6. Metadata harmonization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Metadata harmonization : a roadmap for standardization
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This   paper   analyzes   seven   high-profile  metadata   specifications  with   regards   to   their structural and semantic characteristics. The chosen metadata specifications are widely used, mainly aimed at online material, and popular for material used for teaching and  learning. The focus is on the compatibility of corresponding features in the respective standards, such as identification principles and extensibility mechanisms. The potential for harmonization of those  features across the standards  is discussed  in depth,  and the different paradigms used for metadata specification are discussed.  The paper concludes with a concrete long-term roadmap for harmonization of the standards, based on Semantic Web frameworks.

Keyword
metadata, interoperability
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25689 (URN)
Note
QC 20101028Available from2010-10-28 Created:2010-10-27 Last updated:2010-11-17Bibliographically approved

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